This was definitely not one of the easier weeks of training--far from it. I entered the week pretty banged up from the Cleveland Marathon, displaying all the signs of a runner who pretty much left it all on the course--incredibly sore and dead legs and very little physical and emotional energy. Top that off with sleep deprivation--although it could have been worse--and you have the makings for a tough week.
Ordinarily, I would have taken this week easy to allow for recovery, but with the Mohican 100 so close I felt I needed to at least hit 70-75 "easy" miles to try to stay in shape. The "easy" departed on Sunday, when I caved to peer pressure from SERC and my wife and ran the Blossom Time Run (5.25 very hilly miles) in my hometown of Chagrin Falls. This was my first time running Blossom. The timing has never been good, but this year I thought: What the hell! More on that below.
Off/rested/ate like a horse
AM: 5.1 miles
PM: 4 miles
Legs a little sore and tired but these were better runs than I anticipated.
Total miles for day: 9.1
PM: 7 miles
Legs totally trashed--totally, totally trashed. Didn't help matters much that I got 4 hours of sleep the night before.
AM: 6 miles
PM: 4.5 miles
Legs still pretty sore and very tired. Just lacking the zip I usually feel.
Total miles for day: 10.5
AM: 9 miles
PM: 6 miles on the Bridal and Buckeye trails in South Chagrin Reservation
Felt really good to get back into the 15-mile-per day mode. My legs still felt pretty bad, but I was so happy to be putting in good mileage that it didn't bother me that I felt like running death.
Total miles for day: 15
AM: 12.1 miles in Cuyahoga Valley National Park with SERC. I felt pretty tired, still with some lingering after-effects from the Cleveland Marathon, but I was so happy to be at Lock 29 (didn't think it was possible...until Saturday morning) that it didn't matter. Is a theme developing?
Blossom Time Run in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, one of the most beautiful, charming towns in Ohio and probably the northern United States
*5.7-mile warm-up on the Blossom course (added a little in the beginning) with Mark G. and Steve H.
*Blossom Time Run, 5.25 miles, finished in 31:34, averaging 6:01 miles and winning my age division (30-34). Considering that I'd just run a marathon 7 days prior, I was extremely pleased with my splits, especially my last mile and a quarter. Once again my strength got me to the finish strong. My splits were as follows:
This was just another example of going into a different mindset once the number's on my singlet. I originally was aiming just to break 35 minutes at Blossom--not thinking my post-Cleveland Marathon legs could do much better--but once the gun went off 34 minutes was out the window and I was looking to bring the house down. I still don't know where I finished at Blossom, but I'm sure I was in the top 15 or 20 out of a field of more than 1,000. There were some great runners on the course, such as the Godale brothers, Fred Kieser from the Cleveland West Road Runners (a sub-2:30 marathoner and reigning Blossom champ), and others.
*Afterward, I ran a 6.65-mile cool-down, including running the course again with Mark G., who regaled me with great stories and helped make these rather uncomfortable miles go by faster. I couldn't help but wonder as I was getting in my car after running the Blossom course three times, including once for the race all balls out: Who in their right mind does what we just did? Are we crazy?
Total miles for day: 17.6
Total miles for week: 71.3
Next week my goal is 80+ miles with quality workouts, and then the following week I'll aim for 90+ high-quality miles with an ultimate goal of 100, and then start tapering for the Mohican 100, where I plan to bring several cans of whoop-ass unless I use them up between now and then trying to keep up with Noah! I'll make sure I save some for Mohican.